Oysters are considered one of the world’s most luxury foods. They are low in fat, high in protein and are considered a good alternative to meat as they’re rich in iron. And most importantly, they’re god damned delicious.
In many European countries Oysters are traditionally served with mignonette – a condiment to accompany raw oysters. However, eat them in Asia and you’ll encounter wonderfully crunchy deep fried shallots for sweetness and a little chilli if you need some extra spice in your life.
Even a purist can appreciate a well dressed oyster, and with just two more weeks of having an ‘r’ in the month, it’s time to guzzle. With the help of Bohemia’s Head Chef Steve Smith, here’s 7 IDEAL ways to enjoy oysters.
Liven up your oysters with tequila; one for the bivalve and one for you. A tequila and lime mignonette can be easily made by mixing together 2 tablespoons of tequila, 2 tablespoons of lime, the zest of half a lime, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot, 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander and a pinch of salt. Mix it all together then serve with freshly shucked oysters; a real treat.
You don’t have to feel obliged to eat oysters raw, as many chefs insist. Indeed, deep fried oysters make a great snack or accompaniment to a main course fish dish. Post shucking, cover your oysters in plain flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs then deep fry for 1-2 minutes until they’re crispy.
EAT THE THAI STYLE
Thai beach style oysters involving fully shucking a load, piling them high and enjoying raw with a variety of interesting dips. Think crispy shallots, a sweet chilli sauce, a punchy nahm phrik pao, fresh herbs like coriander, Chinese celery and chives, all served over ice. A few grains from sandy hands isn’t compulsory, but inevitable.
That smokey, moody taste of the barbeque certainly does no harm to the saline richness of oysters. In fact, it’s a match made in heaven. Shuck one and leave it in its flatter sided half shell – keeping the juices within, of course – then place on a hot barbeque grill. After a couple of minutes, remove (careful, that shell will be hot), and spoon over some spicy, sour Vietnamese dressing of MSG, limequat and chili. Oh, and plenty of crispy shallots. Perfect.
A TOUCH OF FIZZ
Oysters and Champagne are a classic pairing – one of the world’s finest – so why not add some fizz to your mignonette dressing to ramp up that sense of opulence and occasion? To create the mignonette mix together Champagne vinegar, finely chopped shallots and cucumber, salt and pepper then allow to chill in the fridge. Add the real-deal Champagne to the mignonette just before serving to retain its fizz and vibrancy.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
If you want to keep the flavour minimal and maximise the majesty of the primary product, instead lightly warm the oyster through and simply serve with lemon juice. If you prefer a saltier flavour as opposed to sour, add a teaspoon of seaweed butter on top of each oyster and warm for 3-4 minutes.
Ignore the naysayers about cheese and seafood having great animosity. In the right hands (yours, of course) they can really sing together. For a truly indulgent, alternative oyster dish, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the oysters, drizzle with melted butter and season with pepper, then grill the oysters for a minute or so.